The Catholic Parish of
St Joseph, Barnoldswick and St Patrick, Earby

Canon Kevin Firth's Ruby Jubilee Celebration

Posted on 28 July 2017

Friday 21st July was a very special day for our parish priest

This was the day he chose to celebrate his 40 years in the priesthood.   Canon Firth's 40 years of priesthood began in July 1977 when he was Ordained at St William’s in Bradford, he then went on to serve in the following parishes:


Our Lady of Lourdes, Headingley, Leeds 1978-84

St Joseph’s, Bradford 1984-89

St Brigid’s, Huddersfield 1989-95

Our Lady Star of the Sea, Fraserburgh and St Mary’s, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire 1995-2000

Our Lady of Victories, Keighley 2000-2002

St Patrick’s, Sowerby Bridge 2002-2015

St Joseph’s (with St Patrick’s Earby) Barnoldswick 2015

Inducted as a member of the Cathedral Chapter (Canon) 2015


A celebratory Mass to mark this significant occasion was held at St Joseph's church. Many of Father Firth's relatives and friends travelled from far and wide joining parishioners not only from St Joseph's and St Patrick's but also from the many other parishes in which he has served.

Following Mass a delicious buffet supper was served in the Community Centre where

Father Firth was presented with a cheque and gifts from the parishioners of St Joseph's and St Patrick's churches.


 Father Firth thanks everyone who made the day so very special.   The attached letter from Father Firth is taken from the Order of Service



Dear Friends,


Thank you for coming to celebrate with me tonight.  It feels like a long, long time since I knelt before Bishop Wheeler on a wet day in July 1977 at St William’s Church, Ingleby Road, Bradford and it is!

Four bishops and four popes later I find myself posted on the edge of Leeds diocese in what is now Lancashire and it is indeed a very lovely place to minister to God’s people.


The journey of forty years has been long but fruitful.  Someone said to me recently “Do you have any regrets about becoming a priest?”  Each year of the last forty have increased my sense of being called by the Lord to serve Him as a priest.

My six years in Rome at the English College provided a good foundation and I am ever grateful to every one of my contemporaries especially the Rector Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O ’Connor who preached at my first Mass at St William’s.


The best training I received was from my parents who taught me how to love others and know that I can be loveable too.  May they have found their longed-for home with the Lord and His saints.

Thank you all for your love and friendship which have sustained me to be a priest and friend over these years.

With warmest regards and affection.


Yours sincerely

(Fr.) Kevin Firth    

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St Joseph's Church Presbytery

22 Gisburn Road, Barnoldswick, BB18 5HA

Tel: 01282 812204

St Patrick's Church

Salterforth Road, Earby, BB18 7QS

Tel: 01282 812204

Diocese of Leeds    62 Headingley Lane, Leeds, LS6 2BX    Tel: 0113 261 8023